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"CNIB Guide Dogs" and a guide dog icon on a yellow background.

CNIB Guide Dogs celebrates class of 2019

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After extensive training, CNIB Guide Dogs is proud to announce the class of 2019. Twenty-five partnerships across Canada graduated today with ceremonies in St. John's, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

"People with sight loss often say having a guide dog is a transformational experience. Being part of a guide dog team provides mobility, safety and confidence, leading to increased independence and a sense of connection with the world for those who choose to work in partnership with a guide dog," said Angela Bonfanti, Vice-President, CNIB Foundation. "Today's graduating dogs will play life-changing roles in the lives of Canadians with sight loss from Vancouver to Iqaluit to St. John's and many communities in between.

To help transform our communities into beacons of accessibility and inclusion, our dogs have three career paths:

Guide Dog – Whether it’s avoiding obstacles, stopping at curbs and steps or negotiating traffic, a guide dog fosters independence for people who are blind or partially sighted.

Buddy Dog - Whether it’s feeding, grooming or walking this well-trained family pet, a buddy dog gives a child an opportunity to care for a dog to make it easier to transition into a guide dog partnership in the future.

Ambassador Dog - An ambassador dog is partnered with a CNIB Foundation staff member or volunteer to promote CNIB Guide Dogs at community events and raise awareness about the role of guide dogs and buddy dogs.

Class of 2019

  • Zach Abdalla & Elsie, CNIB Buddy Dog – Calgary, AB
  • Diane Bergeron & Carla, CNIB Guide Dog – Manotick, ON
  • Marie Claire Bilyk & Rhonda, CNIB Guide Dog – London, ON
  • Landon Byers & Ruggles, CNIB Buddy Dog – Agassiz, BC
  • Mason Christiaens & Queenie, CNIB Buddy Dog – London, ON
  • David Demers & Lilo, CNIB Guide Dog – Montreal, QC
  • Lawrence Euteneier & TBA (dog's name to be revealed in a documentary), CNIB Guide Dog – Ottawa, ON
  • Dani Evans & George, CNIB Buddy Dog – Nelson, BC
  • Tracy Garbutt & Marion, CNIB Guide Dog – Winnipeg, MB
  • Ron Kruzeniski & Alex, CNIB Guide Dog – Regina, SK
  • Johana Lintaman & Katie, CNIB Ambassador Dog – Perth, ON
  • Marco Lothian & Baker, CNIB Buddy Dog – Armstrong, BC
  • Erin Maloney & Winston, CNIB Guide Dog – Ottawa, ON
  • Audrey Miller & Ziggy, CNIB Ambassador Dog – Toronto, ON
  • Noah Papatsie & Sherman, CNIB Guide Dog – Iqaluit, NU
  • Kelly Picco & Maple, CNIB Guide Dog – St. John's, NL
  • Larissa Proctor & Piper, CNIB Guide Dog – Brantford, ON
  • Tim Rees & Harlow, CNIB Guide Dog – Victoria, BC
  • Barry Quick & Willow, CNIB Ambassador Dog – MacTier, ON
  • Kerry Simms & Cooper, CNIB Ambassador Dog – Carleton Place, ON
  • Rhea Stark & Ivy, CNIB Buddy Dog – Mount Pearl, NL
  • Terry Stortz & Bert, CNIB Guide Dog – Brantford, ON
  • Sara Utecht & Daisy, CNIB Guide Dog – Port Moody, BC
  • Lindsay Walkingshaw & Charles, CNIB Guide Dog – Whitby, ON
  • Austin Zerr & Dickson, CNIB Buddy Dog – Regina, SK

Today, more than 1.5 million Canadians live with sight loss.

"At CNIB Guide Dogs, we raise, train and match dogs with Canadians who are blind or partially sighted," said Bonfanti. "We also raise our voices to ensure people with sight loss have opportunities to live, work and play without barriers. We’re committed to ensuring social attitudes shift to universal acceptance and appreciation for guide dogs.

To support CNIB Guide Dogs, learn more or apply for a guide dog or buddy dog, please visit cnibguidedogs.ca.

About the CNIB Foundation

Celebrating 100 years in 2018, the CNIB Foundation is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. We deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower people impacted by blindness to live their dreams and tear down barriers to inclusion. Our work is powered by a network of volunteers, donors and partners from coast to coast to coast.


For more information, please contact:

Shannon Simpson
Director, Marketing & Communications
CNIB Foundation (Ontario & Quebec) and CNIB Guide Dogs
226-377-2801 | Shannon.Simpson@cnib.ca

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